I grew up on the east side of Detroit during the 1950’s and 60’s, graduating from Denby High School in 1970. This was Detroit proper, mind you, not one of the many suburban cities that surround the city, nor Hamtramck or Highland Park within the city boundaries.

For some reason that distinction, being from Detroit vs Metro Detroit, has always been important for me to acknowledge. No special reason I can point to other than Detroit gets such a bad rap at times, defending the mostly enjoyable childhood I had there feels important. Detroit’s had and has its problems, but the Spirit of Detroit is strong among many of its residents.

In 1970, I married and moved north into the Thumb of Michigan. I love rural life and have no desire to move back to the city. Yet, Detroit will always hold a special place in my heart.

While putting together my pussy willow Easter tree today, some fond childhood memories came flooding back.

Memories — Can you relate?

  • New Sunday outfit (dress, shoes, hat) that I couldn’t wear until Easter Sunday. My favorite of all was a butter yellow lace A-line dress.
  • Wearing new Easter hat to church the next week too, but rarely after that.
  • Coloring Easter eggs by carefully cradling one in a thin copper wire holder and dipping it into warm vinegar-laced colored water.
  • How the Paas special colored-tablets fizzed when added to the smelly vinegar water.
  • Individually-assembled Easter baskets filled with our favorite candies and chocolate. No Peeps for me. (Ugh! Too sweet.) Each basket wrapped in crinkly colored cellophane paper.
  • Pineapple-studded ham roasting in the oven. Several side dishes, one of which Mom always forgot to bring to the table.
  • Every Easter Sunday night gathering to watch The Wizard of Oz on our small, black and white screen TV in it console cabinet with doors that closed over the screen

Pussy Willow Easter Tree – A Newer Tradition

If I’d known pussy willow Easter trees were a thing, I would have totally created one in my youth. Truth is, I only discovered them when Diane in Denmark, a favorite YouTuber of mine, showed her’s last year. You can watch her video here or here.

I had planned to add more pussy willow branches this year but haven’t been out and about much to see if anyone has fuzzy buds out yet. Still pretty cold here in Michigan. Thankfully, the ones I stored away last year held together pretty well.

Easter tree prep and storage images
1. Pre-assembly 2. Prepped plastic eggs 3. Stored in long boot box

Do you have special memories of this time of year from your childhood? I’d love to know about them. Feel free to share in the comments.

  • I didn’t exactly have a traditional childhood with regular celebrations it seemed the rest of the world did. However, the Paas tablets and vinegar water, and the copper wire for egg dipping should still be a thing, if they aren’t.

    • Hi Carrie. Maybe let loose with the creativity. Put something together with odd bits and pieces. I was thinking about coloring some real eggs with magic markers and crayons, then pricking holes in the end to blow them out. Been years since I did that. Now you’ve got me fired up. 🙂

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